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20 July 2012 @ 01:49 pm
Henry Tilney would like a word.  
http://m.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jul/19/jane-austen-northanger-abbey-val-mcdermid?cat=books&type=article

"Austen's early novel is to be reimagined by the bestselling crime author for a modern audience, as a suspense-filled teen thriller"

But it isn't...

I mean, it's just not...

Northanger Abbey isn't actually a thriller? So this is a bit weird?

I suppose you could decide to write a thriller inspired by Northanger Abbey, but then you're not really reimagining the original so much as you are doing something completely different.

And then the author in question says, "I know how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I think Jane Austen builds suspense well in a couple of places, but she squanders it, and she gets to the endgame too quickly. So I will be working on those things." That may be because it is not, in actual fact, a thriller. *facepalm*
 
 
 
litlover12: BAlitlover12 on July 20th, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
Were we separated at birth? Because I was having very similar feelings this morning reading about a bunch of Edith Wharton updates that -- if I'm reading them correctly -- are all "Wharton said restraints are all bad, so throw them off and follow your heart!"

Only, you know, not.

I MAY have been reading them wrong. I hope so. But it seems like so many of these updaters have no sense of nuance or complexity.
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on July 20th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh dear - no author is safe! It *is* odd, though: why update a novel in order to take out something vital to it? Why not update something that's a better fit, instead? (Or, you know, write about exactly what you want to write about, without tying it to a classic at all, but that might be asking too much, at this cultural moment.)
Gileonnengileonnen on July 20th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
But ... but ... the whole POINT of Northanger Abbey is ...

... oh, this is like the Sleepy Hollow adaptation with Johnny Depp, isn't it.

Edited at 2012-07-20 06:15 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 20th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
I just can't even. Is there a shortage of *actual* thrillers to update? There are probably interesting adaptations of the novel that could be written, but this is just peculiar.

I fervently hope that Tim Burton didn't think he was improving the original story, but who knows!
salieri: eddie izzard no baboons in mimetroyswann on July 20th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oy vey. If anyone wanted to know what missing the clue bus looks like, that quotation would be it. Saying Austen "squandered" suspense in a novel that is a parody of gothic "thrillers" is like castigating your dog because he makes a terrible pony.
tempestsarekind: elizabeth bennet is amusedtempestsarekind on July 20th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
HA! Indeed.
ramblin' girl: wrapped up in booksbarefoottomboy on July 20th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
I- just- but- WHY?

If I've understood that article (and the articles it links to) correctly, they're basically writing AU fanfic of the novels, moved to a modern setting? Which is all well and good, and I can see how it might be quite fun to write, but it's the "and then we will publish them and expect people to pay good money for them" thing that I'm having a harder time with.

Because basically, this can only be all about the money, right? I mean, I certainly hope it isn't because "people won't read the originals because they're too hard/old-fashioned", because I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was 11 and loved it.

*crankyface*
tempestsarekind: elizabethtempestsarekind on July 20th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
I do sometimes hear people saying that these books are a way to get new audiences interested in classic material, but I have my doubts about that (especially with something like this, where anyone who picks up the Austen afterward might well be disappointed that it *isn't* a thriller!). I think they're trying to capitalize on name/brand recognition and built-in audience, honestly. I can't imagine that this article would have come to my attention if it hadn't been through various Austen websites and blogs, for example.
(Deleted comment)
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on July 21st, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
Have fun with that! You could make a lot of profit with little to no original work at all!
a_t_raina_t_rain on July 23rd, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
I think Jane Austen builds suspense well in a couple of places, but she squanders it...

This IS an elaborate put-on, right? It's not actually possible for someone to miss the entire point of the novel THAT completely, is it?

... On second thought, thinking about some of my students -- Yes. Yes, I am very much afraid it is.
tempestsarekind: henry tilney would SO write fanfictempestsarekind on July 24th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
I wish! But no, it seems to be an actual occurrence in the world.

Funnily enough, I totally missed the joke when I first read Northanger Abbey - well, I understood that it wasn't *actually* a thriller or a Gothic novel, but I'd just come off of *hating* Jane Eyre, our other summer reading book, so I wasn't really appreciative of the parody. You'd think it would have made me more receptive, but no. (I no longer hate Jane Eyre, either, so luckily I have grown up in many ways.)